Nowadays, customers share their data at the touch of a button: personal info, interests, lifestyle favorites, and more. In response, retailers routinely employ personalization mechanics to stimulate purchasing and to create loyalty for long-lasting relationships. Experience has proven that there’s a lot of value in personalization if retailers can get it right.
Customers expect a high level of personalization from retailers, but retailers don’t always offer what customers want. Usually, retailers offer personalized experiences to groups of shoppers, while customers want true personalization in exchange for sharing their data. Shoppers more frequently demand valuable experiences and content tailored for them individually. Occasional marketing and promotional activities or recommendations based on group behavior, not on individual preferences, just don’t fit it. Providing meaningful and consistent experiences and content at the right moment is the key to making customers feel excited and appreciated.
Retailers must use the data they have to truly understand their customers and offer them benefits all along the way. This is true both in-store and online, as both are important touchpoints along the journey to purchase.
Speaking about in-stores, retailers should anticipate the desires of each shopper entering a store. Who is the customer and what is her purchasing history? Why is the customer visiting the store at this precise moment? What is his mindset? What problems is the customer trying to solve?
Real-time customer insights are a valuable source for retailers who require a deeper understanding of what their current and potential customers want. Is the customer hurrying in for a click-and-collect after work? Is a customer entering the store for the very first time after previewing an item online? Is the customer returning to complete a service request?
If properly tailored and sufficiently backed, personalization can go beyond improving the customer journey and meeting customers’ basic expectations: it can be the key to unlocking long-term relationships. Experiences that go far than promotional coupons and instead tap into customers’ personal beliefs, values, and needs make customers feel appreciated and taken care of. After meaningful, relevant, and delightful experiences, customers will be much more likely to return to the store.
Retailers can use real-time data not only to digitally connect but to make customers feel special by welcoming them personally when they enter a store, referring to earlier visits or buys, offering personalized advice and service, letting them know you’re there for them, and thanking them for visiting the store.
Personalization informed by real-time and customer data is about much more than in-store convenience and seamless customer service. It’s about connecting, caring, and keeping in touch. Moreover, it is a powerful method to grow customers' lifetime value and revenues.